I live in a largely Westernised, liberalist Hong Kong. Despite the fact that no one has ever pointed to me how I have personally wronged a homosexual, I belong to what the gay camp calls the ”homophobe” category. And no matter how hard I’ve tried, I still cannot change my views on homosexuality: even with all the liberalist ideals bombarding me every day and everywhere, online and offline, I find I still cannot come to terms with the gay rights movement. I can insist that the homosexuals must be loved and treated fairly. I feel angry when I hear stories of mistreat. But I feel just as strongly that homosexuality is not anything on a par with heterosexuality. To me, no other sexual orientation carries the same immense meaning as heterosexuality. By normalising homosexuality, the gay rights movement denies the uniqueness and the significance of the heterosexual union.
Think for a moment why we say treating the blacks unfavourably is essentially discrimination. It is because such treatment takes something perfectly normal (namely black skin) to be inferior. Why is black skin perfectly normal, then? Imagine a purely black society, totally isolated from other societies, and has never seen or even heard of other skin colours. Or imagine a world with only black people. Can such a society sustain itself for a million of years? Of course! And the same goes for any other skin colour or racial feature. So all these skin colours and racial features must be perfectly normal in themselves.
Now take heterosexuality. Can a world purely made up of heterosexuals, who have never heard of other sexual orientations, sustain itself for a million of years? Of course! In fact, heterosexual union is what allows a black community, indeed any human community and the whole human species, to bear children and not go extinct.
Take homosexuality, and the story is completely different. The fact is that each homosexual exists only as a result of his/her biological parents’ heterosexual union. Even given a world consisting of only homosexuals, unless these homosexuals engage in some heterosexual union, whether in person or through technology, they could not produce another generation!
Heterosexuality, therefore, is something essential and fundamental to humanity. It is what sustains the human race for millennia. All other sexual orientations are, at best, mere deviations from this fundamental character of humanity, and must need heterosexual activity in order to sustain at all. In this sense, then, heterosexuality and homosexuality are not equals, no matter how well you want to treat the individual persons belonging to each.
I can love fat people, and always mean well for them. But that is not the same as saying we should deny that being 300-pound heavy is a deviation from normal weight! The gay rights movement makes the jump from the equal status between homosexuals and heterosexuals, to an equal status between homosexuality and heterosexuality. Because homosexuals should enjoy equality, they think, so should homosexuality. This confuses the whole issue and in the end drives away many who originally also wanted to fight for equal rights for all.
For my part, I believe that heterosexuality is what sustains humanity and should therefore be given special status. Those who want to acknowledge this fundamentality of hetersexual union, I must add, should at least be allowed to do so, instead of being silenced.
We live in a world addicted to fulfilling individual drives and desires. In pursuing this addiction, we have killed all kinds of meanings.
If sex was nothing beyond the pleasures of individuals, then of course all sexual orientations would be equal. But it is not.
We have taken the concept of marriage for granted. It may be time to ask the question what is marriage in the first place. Why would people want to create marriage in the first place, and make it something so difficult to get out of, if it really was just for pleasure and companionship?
Our ancestors did not put all possible imaginable sexual orientations on the table, as it were, and randomly decided to demean all of them except heterosexuality. Rather, they must have found that, out of all the countless types of bonds and companionships formed between men—friendships, sports teams, etc.—only one carries unique meaning: the parties by their very nature form a union, they naturally become one.
Sexual union means, sexually, the individuals become one. How is this possible? Simple, by having one member from each sex! When you have one instance of every member of a kind put together, you automatically get a set. When you have one representative from every country, you get the United Nations. Any other combination, such as having two US representatives and none from South Africa, is not nations united.
When you have a left shoe and a right shoe together, you get a pair of shoes. It’s just simple as that. Of course you can have two left shoes and two right shoes. These are physically possible, but they carry no special meaning, any better than three left shoes or ten right shoes, even if they are all from the same design. They are just the same thing repeated. Consequently we don’t give these a special name. A left shoe and a right shoe together, however, has special meaning and so we conventionally find it useful to call them “a pair of shoes”. They naturally form a set. Anybody calling two left shoes or two right shoes “a pair” simply misses the point!
By the same token, a sexual union—sexes united—can only be meaningfully formed by having one member from each sex, i.e. one man and one woman. Any other combination simply fails to form a natural set. In other words, any other combination fails to convey the concept of union. Two men together is just the same sex repeated, as is five women together. If two persons of the same sex could become one, why not three, or four, or five? Homosexuality, therefore, essentially fails to convey the sexual completeness which the man-woman union does so naturally and beautifully: each sex is present and is graced with equal standing. This is sex equality in its simplest form. Homosexuality, however, confers no equality on the sexes. Male homosexuality means the woman is redundant in a sexual union, while female homosexuality means the man is redundant. So taken together, homosexuality says we are all redundant as men and women!
And more, since you have a representative from each sex in the man-woman union, you already have the whole humanity represented there! You naturally get a basic unit of humanity. The man-woman union, therefore, is a neat miracle of the equation 1 + 1 = 1, whereas homosexuality is only the usual 1 + 1 = 2, and there is always the question why not include more?
Bear in mind that the kind of wholeness which the man-woman union carries is not just an abstract mumbo jumbo. The fact that a man-woman union always potentially results in the biological conception of a new, complete human being shows that, inherent in such a union, there lies nothing less than humanity in its wholeness. This wholeness is biological, i.e. concrete and objective. When a husband says his wife completes him, and when a wife says her husband completes her, they are not just talking metaphor. They mean a real, sexual completion in each other.
But not so with homosexuality, in which each party only sexually repeats the other. It involves no union of persons either logically or biologically. And no, hijacking the name “sexual union” does not make you one. “Homosexual union” is essentially a modern oxymoron.
Only the man-woman union bears new members for the whole society. This entails more than just the sustainability needed of the human race. More importantly, men and women who enter the man-woman union can do something the government can never do: bear and raise infants as biological parents. And this is precisely what human children, as mammals, needs: to be raised by their own biological parents in a constant environment. This means the society has every need to regulate heterosexual partnerships! That is, the society needs a secure system to encourage man-woman partners to exclusively stay together for life (to provide a stable family for their children), and even have their names registered with authority, so that the society knows who are responsible!
Otherwise why did all kinds of societies across geographical borders and cultural diversities take pains to regulate man-woman partnerships? Why did they (1) make the parties vow to each other (2) with wordings dictated by the law (3) in front of a recognised officiator, (4) require a minimum number of witnesses to witness the vow-making, (5) put the parties’ names in a registry system, (6) prohibit double registry, and (7) create a complicated legal procedure such that, even if the parties’ feelings for each other ended, they would not be able to walk away easily?
All these for what? For the sake of the children that resulted, or would result, from those unions, of course! The society had to take seriously the commitment vows of whoever father and mother the next generation, and hold them responsible for their vows! This is why different societies and cultures across the globe thought (before the gay rights movement, at least) that this particular kind of companionship—man-woman union—deserved its own laws, and indeed a special name. In English, it’s called marriage. Marriage, by its origin, then, is only for partnerships which produce children.
Why were all other kinds of pleasurable companionships not regulated similarly, i.e. with vows, officiators and witnesses, and a legal divorce procedure that prevented the parties from separating too easily? Why? Because there was no need to! They had no public stakeholders. They did not carry any meaning beyond serving the pleasures and needs of the individuals involved. So when such a companionship no longer served the original parties, there would be no reason for the law to hold up their separation. Indeed, there was no reason to encourage the companions to vow to stay together in the first place. The government, therefore, has no need to regulate homosexual companionships, any more than, say, ball teams or mahjong mates. If they come together, they come together. If they fall apart, they can fall apart any time. The society is not at stake.
The gay rights movement argues for the legitimising of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, by arguing that the homosexual relationship serves the homosexuals’ needs for pleasure and intimacy. Granted. It serves the homosexuals, but not the general public. Homosexuals could adopt children all right, but only in the same sense that anybody could adopt children, because they adopt children without providing for a traditional home, anyway.
Today, we have often romanticised marriage (or more accurately, the wedding) such that we think it’s discriminatory not to include gays. But really, marriage was a system designed to hold certain people (i.e. those who entered a man-woman union) responsible because their coming together produced children and thus involved public interest. The gay rights movement wants to claim marriage for homosexual companionships, but can do so only at the expense of erasing the meaning of marriage altogether. Supporting gay marriage or homosexual behaviour will only violently degrade the man-woman union into nothing other than the pleasurable companionship between two random people. When something which is not a sexual union and has no public interest (explained above) can qualify for marriage, then marriage loses its meaning. It will be able to accommodate for just about anything, too.
I find it useful to follow Michael Hannon’s summary of the gay rights movement. The gay rights activists have made the typical confusion which many little children make between “Can I (go to the bathroom)?” (dealing with ability) and “May I?” (dealing with permissibility). All along, the gay rights activists think it is only a matter of “May I?” when it comes to public endorsement of homo-sexuality and gay marriage as something on a par with man-woman union, when really it is primarily a matter of “Can I?”. To me, homo-sexuality, and indeed all the other less common sexual orientations, simply fail to even compare with the unique and vastly meaningful union between a man and a woman.
In the end, I have decided: perhaps I am not homophobic after all. I am just a big fan of the beautiful union between one man and one woman. Don’t let anything whitewash the meaning and beauty in the bonding of male and female, which so naturally and gracefully become one.
 This also shows why the concept of nature vs. nurture does not always usefully enter the discussion. Inherited characteristics can also be deviations from health, such as being overweight.
 Michael W. Hannon, “The Abolition of Man-and-Woman: On Marriage, Grammar, and Legal Strategy,” Public Discourse, 15 Nov. 2012, http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/11/7051/ (accessed 28 Nov. 2012).
(I do not own the photos.)